SafeRent Solutions $2,275,000 Fair Housing Settlement

Will Gendron
Editor in Chief
Published
June 26, 2024 8:44 PM
Updated
July 24, 2024
SafeRent Solutions $2,275,000 Fair Housing Settlement
Settlement Open for Claims
Award:
Varies pro rata
Deadline:
September 3, 2024
SUBMIT CLAIM

SafeRent Solutions has agreed to pay a total of $2,275,000 to settle a class action lawsuit for alleged violations of fair housing and consumer protection laws. This settlement aims to compensate individuals who were denied rental housing in Massachusetts due to their SafeRent Score while using publicly funded housing vouchers. This article provides a detailed overview of who can benefit from the settlement, the potential awards, and how to claim them.

Can I Claim an Award?

According to the official settlement website, you are a Settlement Class Member if between May 25, 2020, and April 25, 2024:

You were a rental applicant who used a publicly funded housing voucher and sought but were denied housing in Massachusetts because of your SafeRent Score at any property using SafeRent's tenant screening services. This group is referred to as the 'Massachusetts Income-Based Settlement Class.'

OR

You are Black or Hispanic and were a rental applicant who used a publicly funded housing voucher and sought but were denied housing in Massachusetts because of your SafeRent Score at any property using SafeRent's tenant screening services . This group is referred to as the 'Massachusetts Race-Based Settlement Class.'

  • Massachusetts Income-Based Settlement Class: Rental applicants using publicly funded housing vouchers denied housing between May 25, 2021, and April 25, 2024.
  • Massachusetts Race-Based Settlement Class: Black or Hispanic rental applicants using publicly funded housing vouchers denied housing between May 25, 2020, and April 25, 2024.

What Awards Can Class Members Claim?

The settlement provides a fund of $1,175,000 to be distributed among the Settlement Class Members. This fund will also cover the costs of administering the settlement, which are expected to be between $110,000 and $135,000. Subject to court approval, up to $10,000 each may be awarded to the two plaintiffs who initiated the lawsuit, Mary Louis and Monica Douglas.

The amount each Settlement Class Member will receive depends on several factors, including the number of valid claims submitted and whether the claimant belongs to one or both of the Settlement Classes. Members of both classes will receive a share of the settlement that is 1.5 times the share for those who are members of only one class.

  • Massachusetts Income-Based Settlement Class: Members will receive a share of the settlement fund based on the total number of valid claims.
  • Massachusetts Race-Based Settlement Class: Members will receive a share of the settlement fund based on the total number of valid claims, with an additional multiplier for those who belong to both classes.

Is Proof Required to Claim the Reward?

To claim an award, Settlement Class Members must submit a Claim Form. The official settlement website does not specify additional proof requirements beyond the Claim Form itself.

How to Claim Your Award

To claim your award, you must submit a Claim Form by September 3, 2024. You can file a claim online. Alternatively, you can mail a paper Claim Form to:

MA Tenant Screening  

Settlement Administrator  

P.O. Box 2818  

Portland, OR 97208-2818

$2,275,000 Settlement Breakdown

The total settlement amount of $2,275,000 will be allocated as follows:

  • A portion will be used to cover the costs of administering the settlement, estimated to be between $110,000 and $135,000.
  • Up to $10,000 each may be awarded to the lead plaintiffs, Mary Louis and Monica Douglas, subject to court approval.
  • Up to $1,100,000 in fees awarded to the Class Counsel
  • The remaining funds will be distributed among the Settlement Class Members based on the number of valid claims submitted.

Important Dates

  • Deadline to File a Claim: September 3, 2024
  • Final Approval Hearing: November 18, 2024

What is SafeRent Score?

The lawsuit centers around the use of SafeRent Scores in making rental housing decisions. Specifically, to algorithmically determine who is most likely to not default on their renal payments. SafeRent Solutions used these scores to deny housing to applicants using publicly funded housing vouchers, which led to claims of fair housing and consumer protection law violations.

Why is There a Class Action Settlement?

The class action lawsuit was initiated by Mary Louis and Monica Douglas in 2022, alleging that SafeRent Solutions, LLC violated fair housing and consumer protection laws by using its SafeRent Score product to deny rental housing to applicants using publicly funded housing vouchers in Massachusetts.

The settlement aims to resolve these claims without the need for further litigation, providing compensation to affected individuals and implementing changes to SafeRent's reporting practices to prevent future issues.

Notice Letter

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Status
Open for Claims
Category
Housing
Settlement Amount
$2,275,000
Award
Varies pro rata
Is Proof Required?
TBD
TBD
Days Remaining to file Claim
41
Claim Deadline
September 3, 2024
Fairness Hearing
Final Approval Hearing
November 18, 2024
Case Number
1:22-cv-10800-AK
Case Title
Louis et al. v. SafeRent Solutions, LLC et al.
State
Court
Jurisdiction
Claims Administrator
MA Tenant Screening Settlement Administrator P.O. Box 2818 Portland, OR 97208-2818 (888) 344-0796 info@MATenantScreeningSettlement.com
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